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Illinois: In Senate Campaigns, Listen to Your Mother

In the nasty race for President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat, there may be only one person who can tone it down: Mom.

Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias have relied on their mothers in past campaigns.

Kirk’s mom, Judy Kirk, has helped manage his campaign office since he was first elected to the House in 2000. She has earned a total of about $87,000 over that period. This cycle, she has worked five days a week and receives about $1,000 a month “to help manage the office including collecting mail, payroll and volunteer recruitment,” according to his campaign.

Giannoulias’ mother, Anna Giannoulias, took a big role in his 2006 run for state treasurer. Records maintained by the Illinois Board of Elections show that in September and October 2006, she loaned his campaign a total of nearly $1.5 million. In February, the estate of his father also loaned the campaign $800,000.

Anna Giannoulias frequently contributes to Democratic candidates: In addition to maxing out for her son in 2010, she has also given to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.). In 2009, she gave smaller amounts to the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Patrick Murphy (Pa.) and Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.).

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